Ten restaurants across the state that have been providing free meals for their communities during the coronavirus pandemic just received thousands of dollars to keep up those efforts.
The Oregon Hospitality Foundation announced this week that it is providing funds to businesses that created programs to feed everyone from frontline workers to the flood of people who lost their restaurant jobs following the statewide ban of in-person dining.
"Being of service is at the heart of the hospitality industry," OHF executive director Wendy Popkin stated in a press release. "The Oregon Hospitality Foundation is proud to help raise funds and contribute to family-owned restaurants across the state who are stepping up to feed people in their communities."
The financial gifts went to a range of businesses, from a Salem steakhouse to a falafel joint in Ashland. In the Portland area, the Toro Bravo Restaurant Group received $3,800 for its Feed It Forward PDX program, which provided food for the homeless community via agencies like p:ear and New Avenues for Youth, while also giving away food bags to anyone in need. Portland Mercado will be able to continue to offer meals to domestic and sexual violence survivors taking shelter in alternative housing during the COVID-19 outbreak thanks to a $4,380 gift. And the Botanist House got $8,000 to support a new program that provides 750 meals per day to unemployed service industry professionals, many of which are delivered directly to their doorsteps.
The restaurants got an unusual partner in a quirky, locally produced film that made it to the No. 1 spot at the box office in early April. A screening of Phoenix, Oregon launched the foundation's new fundraising event, Takeout & A Movie, which was followed by a Q&A with the directors and actors. Ticket sales, a donation from the Grubhub Community Relief Fund and other donations brought in enough money for an estimated 11,500 meals.
The next movie in the series will be announced in June. Other restaurants interested in receiving funds from the foundation can apply online.
Oregon's beer community is also finding ways to give back. 7 Devils Brewing, based in Coos Bay, is giving unemployed service industry workers family-sized take-and-bake meals and soup deliveries to the homeless. And Portland's German-focused Rosenstadt Brewery is holding a fundraiser on Saturday, June 20, for the Oregon Food Bank. The beer makers there don't have a taproom of their own, so they'll fill Corny kegs at Laurelwood Brewing from 7:30 to 11 am for $40 each. Make your appointment before Tuesday, June 16.